DUI & Driving Offences

What is a Criminal Driving Offence?

The Criminal Code of Canada includes a number of offences related to driving. Some of these offences are:

  • Hit and Run
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Driving while Unauthorized 
  • Impaired Driving (DUI or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol)
  • Driving with a Blood Alcohol Level Over .08
  • Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample
  • Impaired Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle (this can be impairment by drug or alcohol), and
  • Having Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Level Over .08

There are also separate, more serious offences that you may be charged with if your case involves death or bodily harm. These are criminal offences and they are different from traffic tickets or provincial regulatory offences.

Potential Consequences
If you are convicted of a DUI or other criminal driving offence, the consequences can be significant. In addition to having a criminal record, you could face high fines, a lengthy driving prohibition, the installation of an Interloc device (blow box) in your vehicle, huge increases in insurance rates and even incarceration.

Do I Have a Defence?
DUIs and criminal driving more generally is a complex area of law that is constantly evolving, and due to the technical nature of these charges, they give rise to many possible defences. For instance, you may have a defence based on the type of evidence (or lack thereof) the Crown has against you, the wording of the Criminal Code itself, or the interpretation of the Criminal Code that is found in the case law. While people use language like “DUI” and driving “under the influence”, there are very specific ways the Crown prosecutor must prove impairment in law. You may think that because you “blew over” you must be guilty, but that is simply not true in many cases. That is why it is imperative that you consult an experienced lawyer at McKay Criminal Defence LLP to identify all of the issues and defences that we can very likely raise and advance in your favour. 

Many criminal driving cases involve pre-trial applications for the exclusion of evidence under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You may be able to bring this type of application if the police breached any of your Charter rights during the investigation, arrest, or post-arrest detention period. Our lawyers have the experience and know how to expose these violations through vigorous and detailed cross-examination, coupled with persuasive and innovative legal arguments. Whether you are charged with a DUI, dangerous driving, or any other criminal offence, we can strategically advance the best arguments available to you based on our extensive knowledge and expertise in this area of the law. 

How We Can Help
Properly defending DUIs and other criminal driving cases requires expertise and experience. The offences themselves are highly technical and there is a massive body of case law that applies specifically to this area. Choosing a lawyer with extensive and up to date knowledge of criminal driving law and the relevant Charter litigation is key. 

Every case requires a careful review to identify all of the relevant legal issues and determine the possible defences. You are entitled to review all of the Crown’s case against you and obtain legal advice before deciding whether or not to plead guilty. We understand that a criminal charge and the loss of your license is tremendously difficult to deal with. We will meet with you as quickly as possible to help you assess the strength and weaknesses of your case so that you can make the best decision. 

Our firm successfully defends hundreds of criminal driving cases each year. If you are charged with a criminal driving offence, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

Selected Cases

DUI & Driving Offences

C.L was charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 after being found unconscious in a vehicle on the side of the road. The case involved a seizure of bodily evidence using a blood demand. After discussions with the Crown about the Charter violations that occurred when C.L’s blood was seized, the matter was stayed.

Ian McKay
DUI & Driving Offences

M.A. was pulled over by the police and charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over 08. The matter was withdrawn within a month.

Ian McKay
DUI & Driving Offences

H.S. was charged with impaired driving and driving with an alcohol level over .08. After receiving initial disclosure, Mr. McKay pushed for video evidence both from the scene and the police station. Rather than disclose the requested material, the Crown stayed the proceedings.

Ian McKay
DUI & Driving Offences

S.A. was charged with impairment by drug after being involved in a serious traffic accident. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed a Charter notice which highlighted critical deficiencies in the Crown’s case. Specifically, Mr. McKay challenged the grounds for arrest and the manner in which the accused was compelled to submit to a drug evaluation. He also argued S.A.’s right to counsel had been breached. After some further discussion with the prosecutor, the case was withdrawn.

Ian McKay, Heather Ferg
DUI & Driving Offences

A.R. was charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 after being stopped at Calgary Police Checkstop. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed a Charter notice alleging a breach of A.R.’s right to counsel and the matter was stayed by the Crown prior to trial.

Ian McKay, Heather Ferg
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